The Guyana Agricultural and General Workers’ Union (GAWU) is all set to convene its 20th Delegates’ Congress under the theme “Promoting Workers’ Interest to Advance Economic and Social Development”. The Opening Session will be held on (Sat) 25th August, 2012 at the Guyana International Conference Centre, Lilendaal, Greater Georgetown and the Business Sessions on (Mon) 27th August and (Tue) 28th August, 2012 at Bath Primary School, West Coast, Berbice.
The Congress is the Union’s highest decision-making forum and it is expected to be attended by hundreds of delegates, drawn from the membership of its fourteen (14) bargaining units including the Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc, Fisheries, Rum & Soft Drink, Forestry, Clerical and Timber entities.
His Excellency President Donald Ramotar, will deliver the feature address and declare open the Congress. President Ramotar who previously served in the leadership of the Union, has maintained links since then, which interest is continuing even as he has ascended to higher office.
Twenty-two (22) union members, who gave long and dedicated service and helped to advance and defend the interests of the Union, will be appropriately honoured by Congress during the Opening Session.
The Congress is expected to attract delegates from the following fraternal international unions:- the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the Grenada Technical and Allied Workers Union (GTAWU) and the University and Allied Workers Union (UAWU) of Jamaica. Representatives from local friendly unions and organisations are also expected to attend the Opening Session of the Congress.
The Congress’ theme, it should be underlined, provides a broad and flexible framework that will serve to guide deliberations over the three (3) days. Congress will also assess the realities being faced in the various industries where our members belong, as well as the challenges being confronted nationally and the tasks at hand while charting a general course for the future.
During the Business Sessions, delegates and observers will discuss the Report of the General Council which will be presented by the Union’s General Secretary, Cde Seepaul Narine. The report will cover relevant developments and happenings in the international, regional and local spheres and the Union’s stewardship since the 19th Congress of the Union which was held three (3) years ago. At the conclusion of the discussions, delegates will be asked to adopt the report. During the discussions, delegates will have the opportunity to identify areas and focal points for the Union to concentrate on over the next triennium
Congress will also elect a fifty-three (53) member General Council to oversee the administration of the Union for the next three (3) years. Appropriate motions will also be discussed for adoption.
The three (3) years that have elapsed since the last Congress were eventful, filled with challenges and struggles for the Union’s members. Despite the difficulties and some unforeseen developments, the Union has come out with its unity and organization preserved and its fighting spirit undiminished.
The Union’s leadership places greater store in its democratic foundations and rely on the Union’s Constitution to guide its everyday work. The convening of this Triennial Congress is proof that GAWU is well-organised, accountable and a democratic institution, which respects and adheres to its rules and regulations in the interest of every member.